By: Karlo Janssen
Picture a young man in his early thirties, married, and several young children; a young man who is serving the church as an elder or deacon; a young man who is beginning to feel the pressure of career, family, and church.
It was such a young man who recently e-mailed me: “I reflect back on when I was 18-24 (before marriage) and regrettably contributed next to nothing to the church.”
The years of youth are to be enjoyed. “Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.” Thus the preacher (Ecclesiastes 11:9). There’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself.
The preacher goes on: “Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see.” Wow, that’s taking it far! Maybe you are surprised to find this in the Bible. The Jewish youth certainly would have been. For did not Moses say: “Do not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes”? (Numbers 15:39)
I picture the preacher sitting on a chair, students around him, listening to his wise words. He is fiddling with his garment, the tassel on its end. The tassel with the blue thread in it: the thread of “the Thorah”. “Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see,” he says. And then he waves the tassel and continues: “but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment.”
What are the ways of your heart? What do your eyes see? There’s a church of Christ, there’s a communion of saints. Every-one is duty-bound to use his gifts readily and cheerfully for the benefit and well-being of the other members.
I hope that in ten, fifteen years’ time you won’t regret what you are not doing now. You only get one kick at this can…
So I ask you: “What are you doing?”